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Beach Cottage Coastal Holidays & Five Quick Real Girl Photography Tips

Tue 10th, Jan, 2012

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G’day!  How you cooking good looking Beach Cottage girls?  All fine and dandy? Good

Thanks for the love yesterday on my new bath…we ran into a problem already with the the reno…guess that’s par for the course…

So today, seeing as we are slap bang in the middle of summer in Australia and I am loving it, I though you might like to see some recent photographs of what I’ve been up to over the last few weeks…

…for those of you that are landlocked I have some goodness for you!Lately, I have been getting lots of questions about photography…I am far from an expert, but I like that…the one thing this blog has given me that I will be forever grateful for is the excuse to take a million photos and a place to publish them…Before we start, don’t worry about what camera you have or haven’t got…I think the best thing I did was learn to work with probably the worst camera on the market, a 6 yr old one at that…it forced me to move around to and open my eyes…but, if you do want to spend some money, I would go Canon all the way in the early stages (yes I am now seeing the benefits of Nikon as I am moving forward in my photography journey) and particularly if you can afford it and want a great camera to go in your bag and help your photgraphs, I would highly recommend the Canon G series…I have the G10 and it’s always in my pocket, back of the car, handbag…it’s one rocking camera…the G12 is now out and I have seen, via Nikki at StylingYou who recently purchased it just how fabulous the pictures are from something that is light, easy and practical for a busy mum on the go…
Anyway, whatever you are using here’s what I do when I am out and about in Australia taking photos
1. Look at shapes & line….I am not sure what the technical term in the photography world is but a girl needs a good well-cut line in her photo…once you start to look, you’ll see them everywhere…
Beach Cottage Reader Tip : from Wendy – One thing I learned in one of my online courses that really helped me was the “Rule of Thirds” – try to place the focal point of your photo in one of the thirds of the frame, not dead center. Your beach umbrella shot is a great example of this. Also, when photographing animals, make sure the eyes or an eye of the animal is the focal point.

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2. Get down on the floor…real girl photographers do it on the floor

…recently in KL, one of the Nuffnang girls said I did a very nice Asian Squat…that made me laugh, ‘cos I call it the Photography Squat, a close first to the Photography Lay On the Floor and Embarrass the Heck Out of Your Kiddos pose…

I love taking photos of nautical things with the photographer’s squat…getting down low & dirty with a rope here…low down on the floor you will get a whole other view of the world..a bird’s eye view…

 

Beach Cottage Reader Tip :  from Susan, my friend from Noosa who blogs here

my one piece of advice is to be brave and play with the settings on your camera. Change the iso, change the shutter speed. take ‘the same’ photo from lots of different angles…. I love down low photos but getting up above children playing and taking a birds eye view angle is great.

also play with the settings on your computer photo program.. even the most basic ones can improve a photo in ways we just cannot. Cropping is also brilliant!

 

 

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 3. Look for colour…real girl photographers need some colour in their lives!

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where I am that’s pretty easy in terms of bright colours…the sea, the beach, the coast, all chock full of the glorious colours of nature…but it doesn’t have to be about that…colour is all around you…

I look for billboards, flowers, things that are painted in a bright colour, the sky

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And colour doesn’t just mean bright…I love to experiment on a grey day with photography…it changes the light…I take a lot of cloud shots and ocean / sea shots on cloudy days…they don’t normally make it to this blog ‘cos it’s my little thing I keep to myself, but I love to see the results of a cloudy sky & a grey and angry sea…

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4. Find a Point Of Interest

I like to take pics of things that jump out at me as I am walking along…a point of interest in your photo…that prompts an emotion…here it was the blue and plastic feel of the umbrella against the natural weathering of the wood.

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5. LifeReal Girl Photographers Snap Real Life
Just snap away at life.  A lot.
It will open your eyes and you will improve daily…I love doing this, I find being out with my camera, total therapy, just snapping away at what is going on…a lot of my photos on here do not have people but I take a lot with people in that saay on my monitor, life is interesting, especially other peoples goings-on..there I watched this guy row from his boat to the jetty with his little family…sweet…the photo…it makes me wonder where he was going, what he was doing and where he is now…Life adds interest to your photos
Beach Cottage Reader Tip _ from Jen at Arriving  – if you are taking photos of people, take a sec and look at your screen or viewfinder to make sure no one has any poles, etc sticking out of their heads. Sometimes all it takes is a step to the left or a tweak to the right to turn a snapshot into a great photo.
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Mr Beach Cottage was here, informing me on the movement of water around the jetty, he likes to keep me educated …yep I love hearing about that…I thought it was funny that his undies were showing and not cos he was trying to be trendy lol

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And then you can combine some of the above points…just snap it

colour + lines

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getting down low + point of interest

 

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colour + line

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point of interest + colour

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line + colour

 

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These photos are from our Christmas Road Trip 8 hours North of Sydney, right up the Eastern side of Australia…one beautiful and stunning part of the world, the Christmas Carnival Funfair we went to with the kiddos and our friends where I worked with twilight and got some fabulous shots of the Beach Cottage Crew and right here at home, at the wharf, when I went out for a little New Year Lunch with my hubby and we took photos of that skirt…

Feel free to leave me any tips that you have for what new real girls cameras you have tried and any ideas and tips you’ve found that help you out with taking photos …I’ll add them to the post as it goes along

Oh and if you have any questions, I’ll answer them in the comments and thanks to my new plug-in, you’ll get an email from me.  Yay, loving that.

Cheers Beach Cottage Girls

Happy coastal days…I am off for a walk by the sea, a coffee and girl therapy with the lovely lg…

See ya next time

Sarah

it’s photo sharing time on my blog tomorrow…come along and share what you love in your life..coastal decor, your New Year thing, whatever floats your Beach Cottage boat x

I’m hanging out on Facebook today…come and join me for a chat…more pictures and some reader maxi skirt love xo

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64 Responses to “Beach Cottage Coastal Holidays & Five Quick Real Girl Photography Tips”

  1. Nikki says:

    Love this post and thanks for the mention – I’ve got an old Canon DSLR with two lenses that I rarely use because of the bulk (I am lazy!) but with the Canon G12, I find I’m back snapping lots of pictures again. Check out the low light water images of me in a swimsuit on my post today (I KNOW – ME IN MY SWIMSUIT!). Brilliant. The photos, not my swimsuit ;)

  2. Another tip – if you are taking photos of people, take a sec and look at your screen or viewfinder to make sure no one has any poles, etc sticking out of their heads. Sometimes all it takes is a step to the left or a tweak to the right to turn a snapshot into a great photo. ❈

  3. I have to learn me some of those squats so I can capture shots like you.

  4. This post comes just at the right time for me! I don’t have breathtakingly beautiful sites around me 24/7, so I’m challenging myself to look at the things around me in a new light (or at a new angle!) Hopefully it will result in some beautiful photos :)

    • sarah says:

      it definitely will…and if you are like me it will give you quiet time and therapy at the same time!

      cheers sara

      x

  5. Susan says:

    my one piece of advice is to be brave and play with the settings on your camera. Change the iso, change the shutter speed. take ‘the same’ photo from lots of different angles…. I love down low photos but getting up above children playing and taking a birds eye view angle is great.

    also play with the settings on your computer photo program.. even the most basic ones can improve a photo in ways we just cannot. Cropping is also brilliant!

    bravo Sarah… even though you are “no expert” you take lovely photos and I’m so glad you share them all…… XX

    • sarah says:

      thanks Susan, yes I love holding my camera up high, especially my iphone on the beach, get some great shots like that

      I’ve added your tip to the blog post, thanks so much

      hope it’s not too hot up there for you right now xo

  6. Wendy says:

    I have a Nikon D60 and a couple of different lenses, including telephoto, macro, fish eye, etc. I absolutely love photography and have taken a couple of online courses. My dream job would be a National Geographic photographer. I prefer landscape photography and “distant” people photography (i.e., they don’t know they’re being photographed). Abstract and macro are really fun too! One thing I learned in one of my online courses that really helped me was the “Rule of Thirds” – try to place the focal point of your photo in one of the thirds of the frame, not dead center. Your beach umbrella shot is a great example of this. Also, when photographing animals, make sure the eyes or an eye of the animal is the focal point. I thoroughly enjoy your photography and blog; keep up the great work, Sarah!

    • sarah says:

      hey Wendy, interesting, I would very much like to invest in a fish eye, but that won’t be happening for a while…

      I am adding your tips to the post

      Sarah

    • sarah says:

      oh forgot to say can you recommend an online course?
      x

  7. Great tips on line & focus Sarah- I esp love the thoughts on point of interest….a focus point that your story builds around, whether it be something you are capturing way off in the distance- or something up close in your garden…

    I use a Canon 450D, which I’ve had for 3 years & I am still in love with it – and am using my manual setting more each day…it gives the photos a clarity and light you just cannot capture on manual setting- I know you’re using yours more manually each day too.

    Your Nikon sounds totally perfect to throw in a basket or bag- at the moment I’m using my i-phone like this and loving it.

    I agree with you- the more photos you take- the more you just embrace what’s around you- the more you start loving the small things you have in your life- and the more your photos improve before you know it.

    Great post!

    melissa x

  8. Great pics Sarah! Thanks also for the tips! Wishing it were summer here in VA (USA) Raining and cold today and weatherman says possible wintry mix on Thursday. I guess I should be thankful that we have had mild winter so far. Calm before the storm as they say!

  9. Kirsty says:

    love the last surfing pic! Gorgeous!

  10. Simone says:

    Wow what a coincidence, I am on a mini break holidaying along the Great Ocean Road Victoria, long story short I have been doing a little reading up on photography and discovered the world of iPhoneography finding some amazing shots taken with the humble iPhone. I am now using the Camera+ app for $0.99 shoot, edit and share all in one awesome. Thanks Sarah now I am even more inspired to get out there and snap happy x

    • sarah says:

      oh Simone you have a lovely road in front of you with the iphone…I LOVE IT!

      and what a nice place to start playing with it! enjoy x

  11. Mummaducka says:

    I too looove my G12, it takes an excellent photo, however one of my kids dropped it on the gravel driveway and it has chunks/scratches on the lens, however I don’t think this has made any difference to the photos????????

    I also have a Canon 400D, takes a great photo, but has no liveview, which is a great shame. I’m looking to upgrade to a camera which can take exceptionally fast sports shots, to capture whipcracking, any suggestions anyone? I’ve looked at the Canon 5D and 7D, but thought I might wait for any new releases early this year, apparently theres some coming up.

    • sarah says:

      yeah I have heard that too…I would actually buy the old one right before the new one comes out, that way you get a massive discount…almost 50% in some cases…

  12. Mummaducka says:

    Oh yes, I have to add that the new Iphone takes a great shot too!!!!

  13. AI Sakura says:

    I love the colourful shots!

    Nowadays I take pictures with my iPhone too and like to edit with a few apps.. but I also like my Olympus EPL-1. I’m still a noob with that but love taking my little girl’s pictures on it :) Kids are so fun to take!

    • sarah says:

      hey!

      I take heaps of iphone photos…I love having it in my pocket

      noobs are good! I love noobs

      xo

  14. Wow.. that photo of the surfers is amazing! I have a Canon DSLR that comes with me on special occasions, but I am actually loving the instagram app on my iPhone.. the effects are amazing.. it can make any photo look good!

  15. Cheryl Roth says:

    Lovely, great tips. I’m dying to get back to the beaches of AU.

  16. Rose West says:

    Wow – thanks for the great tips! Your photos are incredible!

  17. A-L says:

    That surfing picture is my favorite – wau! I´m dreaming of summer, sea and waves here in the middle of snow… Thank you for Wonderful photos , again:)

  18. I was enjoying the photos so much I forgot to read the words – don’t worry I’ve gone back and now I am all the wiser. I struggle with my hefty camera – it is never on hand when I want it. PS What computer program do you use?

  19. kirsty says:

    Hi Sarah,
    Thanks for the sharing these photography tips, they are so helpful.
    I’ve been following your blog for a while now & I’ve seen your photos go from amazing to professional!
    Can I ask for some advice? I have entry level Canon DSLR and am looking to buy a new lense, I want to be able to blur backgrounds more as my current F stop doesn’t go lower than F5.6. Do you have any recommendations that won’t break the bank? I’ve read a bit about the 50mm 1.8 but have read mixed reviews.

    • sarah says:

      Hi Kirsty

      Hmmm, well I get blur without a low FStop by being far away and moving in…right now I have a 70-300 on my camera and am finding more and more that I just don’t take it off…

      I have heard mixed things on the 1.8mm too, I think saving up for the 1.4 might be a better option.

      Cheers

      Sarah x

    • Jessica says:

      Hi Kirsty,

      I bought the canon50mm 1.8 and for the first day thought it was amazing (I had never played with a fast lens before). Anyway, by day two I realized that the auto focus struggled to lock fast enough to photograph my kids and ended up using manual focus instead – which is clearly not ideal fo capturing kids, but it was better than auto. Anyway, quickly upgraded to 1.4 and haven’t looked back. Wish I had’ve bought it first and saved some money!

      Hope this helps.

      Jessica.

  20. Chantelle says:

    Beautiful pictures! I’ve had an old Nikon D40 for a few years now but have still never done anything past automatic settings. I really need to learn how to use it better! My photos turn out alright, but not nearly as good as I’d like. One day…!

    As a side note – lovely to hear that you made the move from England – and in such a short time frame! Am pretty jealous. Over here in Yorkshire it’s looking pretty bleak right now…

    Take care
    Chantelle

    • sarah says:

      hello Chantelle, thanks for your comment

      we love it here, though Yorkshire is pretty nice too! not quite got the weather we have though

      …best thing I did with the getting out of auto was read the manual and us the AV setting at first (not sure what this is called in NIkon)

      cheers

      Sarah

  21. Great post Sarah!
    Your photo’s always looks professional so i’ll be sure to try all those tips, esp the ‘get on the floor’ one :-)
    I go between my iphone and my old canon…hoping to get a new one soon!

    Thanks again,
    Steph

    • sarah says:

      Steph, the get on the floor tip is really useful for me…amazing what you see down there, ahem in the house it’s often dust bunnies lol!

      good luck with getting a new camera…

      x

  22. justine says:

    love your pictures here, my sister in law and parents in law live in manly so I recognise so much in your photographs. My tip is if you see red, shoot it!!

  23. Wendy says:

    Dear Sarah
    I have been enjoying a similar ‘photo journey’ as you over the past months. I found this great ebook (see link below) very helpful. It is all about changing the setting on your camera so that it is no longer on Auto. It is very simply written with lots of pictures to illustrate each point. I would highly recommend it.

    http://almostfearless.com/travelbooks/book/getting-out-of-auto/

    Wendy

  24. Krissie says:

    Hi Sarah,
    Thanks for sharing your tips and gorgeous pictures! i actually got the Canon g12 for my birthday after reading your post about your canon camera and i love it,it is so amazing compared to my old one but i need to learn more,i am playing around and starting to see all it has to offer.
    Thanks for this post a great read x

    • sarah says:

      oooh Krissie, you lucky duck! you will love it…best thing I did with my G12 was read the manual properly….I tried not to for ages, and when I did everything fell into place x

  25. Robyn says:

    Great post Sarah! While the tips are always a good to know thing, and doing a course is also recommended, there’s nothing like taking a billion pictures to learn. Fortunately we don’t have to get them all developed first anymore to see where we went wrong ;-)

  26. marcia says:

    Two things Sarah, 1.Your photos just pop! Love them, I wish I could take pictures like this, and your advice is giving me the courage to play with my camera so thank you for that! And 2. It looks so warm where you are! I’M JEALOUS! Have a wonderful week, Marcia

    • sarah says:

      thanks Marcia, I think playing around, taking lots of shots and getting out of your comfort zone is key to getting better photos!

      errrm yes it’s lovely and warm here and we are so enjoying it x

  27. great post! It’s always helpful to talk to people about how to improve my photos for the blog, especially when you are constantly taking pictures of the same things–food. Love all of the pictures and all of the advice. My boyfriend is quite embarrassed when I spend so much time on the floor taking pictures of stuff.

  28. Marie says:

    The way you write things actually makes sense – I “get” it now. Thank you so much, Sarah.

  29. Barefoot Liz says:

    This reminds me of how much I miss using my SLR. I really should see if I can get it fixed.

  30. I am attempting a white chocolate version of your chocolate tart… wish me luck!

    • sarah says:

      Hi Jen

      I’d love to see how it goes, cheers Sarah x

      • Well it tasted delicious. One silly thing though… if you are going to halve the recipe… you have the halve ALL of the ingredients. (translating from metric and then halving was too much for me apparently today). Too much of something as it wouldn’t set up right. I’m def going to try again though. Although most likely go for the chocolate next!

        • sarah says:

          hmm, ok, I see what you mean… next recipe I do I will do both measurements cos a few people have found the metric part (mostly for liquid ingredients) tricky xo

          • You know what? I have been thinking it through all afternoon, and wondering if maybe it was the butter? Maybe the white chocolate was softer from the get go than regular chocolate so the butter made it too soft? Because my measuring cup has metric and I’m pretty sure half of 100 is 50 so…. :-) Found another white chocolate tart recipe that is very similar to your dump and go tart but it lists no butter. So maybe it was the butter… these are the things that keep me up at night. Here is the recipe in case you want to check it, looks dreamy… (scroll to bottom of post for recipe) http://www.pastrypal.com/2010/12/white-chocolate-raspberry-tart-and-how-i-pissed-off-the-whole-town/

            No need to respond, I’ve talked your ear off already today.
            Jen

  31. Vicki P says:

    Love these photos and the tips as well, Sarah. Esp. the surfie one near the end. Gorgeous!!
    Happy New Yr and am hoping to get to Sydney Harbour for New Yr’s fireworks end of 2012….any tips on that?
    Like how does one find a place to stay at such a crazy time of year???? Traveling from Florida, USA.